What if people knew that failure to address a common health condition would threaten their ability to stay mentally sharp? Would it motivate them to seek treatment?

Age-related hearing loss is chronically unaddressed in the US. Of the 38 million Americans who have hearing loss, 90% could benefit from wearing hearing aids — yet only one in five of them does. Seniors who lose hearing later in life are especially prone to neglecting hearing health. New knowledge presents some very critical reasons why older people, their family members, healthcare providers, and society need to change the way we treat hearing loss in the later years.

In 2011, Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins University and his team published findings that untreated hearing loss puts people at higher risk for a diagnosis of dementia. For those already been diagnosed with cognitive problems, not using hearing technology is associated with an acceleration of decline, as compared with those who did wear hearing aids. Essentially, if people don’t treat their hearing loss, “losing it” may mean more than their hearing.

This year, CHC is honoring Dr. Frank Lin with the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award for his pioneering research in hearing loss and cognitive function in the aging population. CHC will bestow the honor on October 22nd at the 19th Annual Feast at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, the 103 year old nonprofit’s biggest annual benefit. CHC will further its leadership role in hearing healthcare at The Feast with the announcement of its new Center for Hearing and Aging, a unique multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of hearing loss in the elderly.